We did our bit

We did our bit District hospital, Nagapattinam is just two kilometres (km) from the Bay of Bengal. On December 26, 2004, when the tsunami struck, the hospital's paediatric ward was swept away; there were no survivors. This hospital was our first call as volunteers in relief operations coordinated by the Chennai-based non-governmental organisation, Suyam: we were greeted by a thick muck carpet. It was January 2, 2005. The volunteers who were there for the past few days told us that 80 per cent of the muck was cleared off the previous day. The four of us had to scrape off the remaining 20 per cent. We were equipped with brooms and buckets and protected by masks. But our protective gear kept slipping away and every time that happened, we feared that we had inhaled a thousand germs.

The next task at hand was to revive the hospital's pharmacy. As part of a human chain we had to segregate the wet and soiled medicine boxes from the the dry and unspoilt ones.

A week after
It was January 3, 2005

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